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Plastic Rivers by Shome Dasgupta

When we would put bits of Scotch tape over the notches to record over Target bought cassettes we didn’t listen to anymore—pressing PLAY and REC at the same time on the boombox to listen to the soporific static melodies before the music soaked our skin—volume up, and we entered the radio like ghosts to their forgotten homes and twirled around the reels with our mouths opened, becoming magnetic—dizzied and mesmerized—into the echoes we lost ourselves until the lullabies were mute and all that was left were the memories of Sunday nights—that one song—and captured it like we were tracking history through electricity and wires. We were so important—so official, scientists in the lab concocting a potion that sizzles and fizzles, vapors tracing their way into our ears to split our personalities, finding ribbons and levers to take us away—floating and floating until we land softly onto the main PCB surrounded by capacitors and switches. Little towns—buzzing and beeping and clicking—a welcome mat of tones and chords just so we can glimpse into ourselves through the mouths of others and remember our worlds of antennas and plastic rivers. Rewind and rewind and rewind.

Hear Shome Dasgupta read his piece.

Shome Dasgupta is the author of The Seagull And The Urn (HarperCollins India) and, most recently, The Muu-Antiques (Malarkey Books), Tentacles Numbing (Thirty West), and Histories of Memories (Belle Point Press). He lives in Lafayette, LA, and can be found at and @laughingyeti.

Plastic Rivers by Shome Dasgupta | Lottery by Scott Garson | Drones by Ulrica Hume | Mushrooms by Kathryn Kulpa | The Archipelago by Lorette C. Luzajic | Manual for an American Novice in a Small Indian Town by Tara Isabel Zambrano | A Single Ladybug, Lying Dead on the Windowsill by Elena Zhang